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Citation Examples | A Quick Guide to the Harvard Method of Referencing

Referencing is a crucial aspect of academic assignments as it helps in educating your audiences regarding the information you employ and where they can obtain them. Among all the referencing styles used, Harvard is the worldwide commonly applied reference style in UK universities. The author and time are listed in-text in Harvard style, and complete details of the text can be found in a reference list.

In texting in Harvard style

A Harvard in-text reference is done in brackets right next to any source quotation or a paraphrased line. It displays the author(s)’ last name and the year of publication, and it also gives a page number or range finding within the cited paragraph (page number not mandatory at all times).

For example,

The narrative initiates with a bleak sight of train passengers’ features, which have been described as “pale yellow, the colour of fog.” (Dostoyevsky, 2004, p. 5)

It is worth noting that ‘p’ is used when a single page is being cited but ‘pp’ is used when numerous pages are cited (eg. ‘pp’ 2 to 6).  An in-text reference is often placed directly below the line or translation in question. It is also possible to arrive at the finale of a sentence if it is apparent what it alludes to.

Referencing multiple authors

While referencing an author’s work with up to three authors, use the names of all authors. However, when four or more authors are cited, just use the initial name, and then write by “et al” in Italics. For example,

(Davis, Beret and Mclam, 2019) –in the case of the three authors

(Davis et al. 2019) –four or more authors

Referencing while no page numbers are mentioned

Some forms of information such as websites, might or might not include page numbers. If the source of the information is a limited text, just remove the page number. If you are required to recognise the place in which the quote could be found, you could include a more specific locator such as section heading or paragraph number. For example, (Scribber, para 5).

Many citations at the same point

Sometimes, various authors are required to be cited in the same sentence as the same statement is claimed by various authors. For instance, while referring to various sources in a single sentence, you may present them by placing them in the similar set of brackets distinguished using semicolons. For that, list them in a chronological sequence of publications:

Example: (Singh, 2012; Davidson, 2016; Harding, 2019)

Multiple sources including the same date and authors

In case you mention multiple books or journals by the same writers which have been published in the same year, you would have to categorise them in your writing. Insert an ‘a’ following the year in the most recent one you are referring to, and use ‘b’ in the next one and so on.

As shown below:

(Woodhouse, 2018a) followed-up study (Woodhouse, 2018b)

Making a Harvard reference list

Your text concludes with a reference list or a bibliography. It is chronologically organised in alphabetical order. All of your sources should be organised by the last name of the author, providing in-depth details so the reader of your work can follow them up if required. The last name of the author is written after which initials are used in the reference component. Only the very first word of the title (along with proper nouns) is capitalised.

Texts with multiple authors in the reference list

At times of multiple authors for a text, you should use the last names of authors up till the source has three authors. If it becomes, more than three names, it is the same as the rule of in texting, et al is to be used in the reference list.

Examples of Harvard referencing


“The surname of the author, initial. (Year) ‘title of article’, ‘Name of the Journal’, Volume, PP (Range of Page)”

You should take notes:

This format also serves as a basis for journal articles that may be viewed online but are also accessible in print. The volume and issue number must be separated by a space. The page range specifies the location of the sentence in the journal. The name of a text unlike other titles, utilises capitals of headlines and capitalises each important word.


“Writer’s surname, initial. (Year), Title of Book. City: Publisher”

It should be noted:

The city name is mentioned in the headquarters of publishers.


“Author surname, initial. (Year) Page title. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year).”

Note please:

The pages that are entered in the reference list without having an author’s name shall be cited by the name of the relevant website or the organisation itself.

Citing sources with no date or author

You may not always have all of the information you require for a referring a line. This section explains the course of action when a source can’t be identified by a publication date or a known author.

The publication date is not mentioned in the source

When you do not have a publication date in a source. For instance, a continuously updated source of references such as ‘Wikipedia’ or a ‘document of history’ cannot be dated accurately. You could use the words such as ‘no date’ if you do not have a date. When utilising an online source, remember that you must provide a date of access, as can be seen in the example.

Sources with no author

When a source cannot be attributed to a specific author, there is frequently a valid corporate source – the person or company behind the data. In above situations, you can refer to as an author instead, as in the case of Wikipedia and Google.

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